The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins begin their second round series. Join Stars and Sticks staff and some special guests as we preview the series.
The Washington Capitals march to the Stanley Cup will require them to exorcise some demons. After beating a similar version of themselves, they now square off against their biggest playoff foe, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The past four times the Caps have faced the Pens in the playoffs, the latter won. Each of those times, they went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Even without Kris Letang, Pittsburgh is a team who can challenge the Capitals. Any time you have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as your top centers, you have a shot at beating anyone four times. This is a different Penguins team from last season.
One could argue they aren’t as good as their 2016 team which won the Stanley Cup. This argument might be logical and mostly true, but they still represent the hugest obstacle in the Caps way. But how can Washington get past Pittsburgh? Also, can the Penguins once again crash the Capitals’ postseason party?
To answer these tough questions, as a staff, we’ve assembled to give our opinions on some key factors in the series. To get some insight into the opposition, Penguins beat writer Bill West of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Matthew Rodrigopulle from FanSided’s own Pen’s Labyrinth will be joining the roundtable as well. Stars and Sticks site expert David Stevenson will be giving his take on both teams.
First, let’s start with the Penguins side of it.